In a recent communication to the Special Rapporteur, I Have Rights urgently called for an investigation into Greece’s treatment of survivors of human trafficking on the island of Samos. This plea comes as a follow-up to an initial confidential complaint dated 23 October 2022, which highlighted systemic failures in identifying, protecting, and supporting trafficking survivors.

The latest communication from I Have Rights, which can be found in full below, provides updates on several crucial developments, including findings from the 2023 GRETA report, and observations from the 2023 GREVIO Evaluation Report. These documents collectively underline the pressing need for action to address the dire situation faced by human trafficking survivors on Samos.

According to I Have Right’s statistics, approximately 285 out of 2,170 asylum seekers who entered Samos in 2022 were potential trafficking survivors. However, Greece’s response to this vulnerable population has been inadequate. Survivors  find themselves subjected to de facto detention in harsh conditions at the EU-Funded Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC) on Samos.

The CCAC, resembling a prison, reached over 200% capacity in recent months. The structure is surrounded by barbed wire fences, is manned by private and state security officers and is equipped with high-tech surveillance including CCTV, biometric data checks and drones. Survivors face restricted movement, limited access to medical care, and a lack of specialised support services. 

Moreover, the Greek National Referral Mechanism has proven ineffective in identifying and supporting survivors, with no survivors who have been trafficked outside of Greece being formally recognized. This lack of recognition effectively denies them access to essential rights and protections. The intersectional dimension of this issue is stark, with a significant majority of survivors encountered by I Have Rights being persons of African descent, and predominantly women.

In light of these findings, I Have Rights calls on the Special Rapporteur to investigate Greece’s compliance with international standards regarding the treatment of trafficking survivors on Samos. They urge the Special Rapporteur to make recommendations aimed at ensuring full compliance with these standards and condemn Greece’s failure to recognize survivors trafficked outside its borders.

Read the communication

Press contact:

I Have Rights

Candice Schmitz

‭+30 697 3528096‬